Friday, March 5, 2004
Insert your own EU joke here
According to the Financial Times, many citizens of the new European Union entrants literally cannot understand the acquis communautaire:
A message from the editors at Foreign Policy
The managing editor of Foreign Policy sent me an e-mail yesterday regarding the Huntington kerfuffle. I just wanted to pass this part of the message along to the myriad contributors to danieldrezner.com's discussion threads:
Savor the praise.
What to read about jobs in the U.S. economy
The February employment data could have been better:
The Chicago Tribune also has economic gloom on today's front page:
Here's a link to the EPI report upon which the Trib story is based.
This is not going to look great for President Bush. However, Noam Scheiber -- hardly a Bush fan -- points out that it would be unfair to blame Bush for the current sluggishness in job growth:
Finally, the continuing battle over the validity of the household survey for measuring jobs versus the payroll suvery for measuring jobs continues. According to the payroll survey, 716,000 jobs have been lost since the recession ended in November 2001; according to the household survey, 2.2 million jobs have been created.
The conventional wisdom among economists is that the payroll survey is the more reliable of the two in terms of measuring jobs. EPI's Elise Gould does a fine job of summarizing the arguments in favor of relying on the payroll survey.
Go check everything out.
Thursday, March 4, 2004
More feedback on Huntington
Just to reiterate -- I didn't say that Mexico was redefining itself as a North American country, though I believe this to be true. My point in the TNR essay was that Huntington thought this was true when he wrote The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order eight years ago.
In closing, here's an e-mail response to the TNR essay that I've received [No fair!! This is just a single anecdota!--ed. If Huntington can quote a guy talking to Robert Kaplan, I can use this.]:
Wednesday, March 3, 2004
March Books of the Month
Given February's elevation of trade questions to the forefront of political debate, both of this month's books are devoted to the topic -- from slightly different directions.
In the United States, arguments against the merits of free trade and investment tend to fluctuate with the business cycle. When growth is robust and times are good, the arguments made against globalization are non-economic: it deteriorates labor and environmental standards in other countries, it leads to cultural homogenization, yada, yada, yada. When growth is weak and times look uncertain, the arguments made against globalization are pitched to appeal to material self-interest: free trade causes unemployment, America is losing its "competitive advantage," yada, yada, yada.
This month's two books address divide their labor in terms of defending the merits of free trade. Douglas Irwin's Free Trade Under Fire does an excellent job of demolishing the recession-based arguments made against free trade, while assembling all of the arguments and evidence for why trade is a win-win proposition.
As for flush times, Jagdish Bhagwati's In Defense of Globalization marshalls considerable evidence that globalization does not need a human face because it already has a human face. By lifting people out of poverty, globalization is a cure for many social ills.
Go check them out.
Challenging the Hispanic Challenge
Here's a link to Samuel Huntington's essay "The Hispanic Challenge"; you can purchase and advance copy of Who We Are here. If you study political science and don't have either Political Order in Changing Societies or The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, you should. The quotations in Clash in the essay come from pages 150 and 136 respectively.
For a lovely biographical essay of Huntington, you could do far worse than Robert D. Kaplan's December 2001 Atlantic Monthly essay.
For an excellent, dispassionate look at how the 19th century version of globalization affected the United States, see Kevin O'Rourke and Jeffrey Williamson's Globalization and History
David Brooks' New York Times column from last Tuesday on Huntington provided the 60% figure on English-speaking habits among third-generation Hispanic Americans.
I've disagreed with Huntington before -- see my review of The Clash of Civilizations in The Washington Quarterly here.
The Franklin and Schlesinger quotes come from Schlesinger's July 1921 American Journal of Sociology fascinating essay, "The Significance of Immigration in American History." Some of you can access this on JSTOR. Frankin is quoted on p. 74; Schlesinger's quote comes from p. 83 of the article.
The Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research at the University of Albany is doing fascinating things with Census data on Hispanics. The report that's directly quoted can be found here, but check out this one on how race factors into the equation as well. I am exceedingly grateful to Robert Tagorda for posting about it.
For an economic analysis of the immigration question, chapter 15 of Kenneth Dam's The Rules of the Global Game is an excellent starting point.
Final effort towards full disclosure -- Huntington, in addition to founding Foreign Policy, also founded the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. During the 1996-97 academic year, I was fortunate enough to be a post-doctoral fellow at that institute.
Remember last week when I said about Samuel Huntington's new essay that, "I think he's wrong now. I'll be posting much more about this later."?
Those five of you waiting on pins and needles will finally be sated. Huntington's essay is the topic of my latest TNR Online essay. Go check it out.
Tuesday, March 2, 2004
Stacking the deck on science
I've been remiss in not commenting on the administration decision to change the composition of the Bioethics Advisory Council. I've certainly been remiss in linking to Jacob Levy's dissection of these changes. And I've been really remiss in not linking to Glenn Reynolds' Tech Central Station analysis, since he uses Carmen Electra as a metaphor.
Glenn has a further roundup of reaction here (As you would expect, Virginia Postrel is less than thrilled). Even Ramesh Ponnuru, who agrees with the administration, think this was a political screw-up.
The Institute for Supply Management issued their February report. Here's the highlights from Fox News:
One source of increasing manufacturing employment will come from Japanese auto firms, according to the Chicago Tribune:
[Must be because their productivity is lower and therefore they need to hire more workers--ed.] Actually, the reverse is true:
A new source for offshore outsourcing
Sreenath Sreenivasan, an associate professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, has set up an ousourcing page with tons of links. Go check it out and see which fact/story you think is the most interesting.
My winner is this story by Sreenivasan about what piqued media interest in the offshoring phenomenon:
Alas, this confirms what I wrote here about the Reuters story.
This piece of information is also interesting:
Monday, March 1, 2004
Haiti and drugs
Yesterday the Chicago Tribune had a front-page story illustrating the difficulty of dealing with either the government or the rebels on this issue. The highlights:
Read the whole thing.